Daniel Gazdag scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season, Mikael Uhre added his 11th and the Philadelphia Union took the lead in the MLS Supporters’ Shield race with a 2-0 victory at the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.
Jack McGlynn and Julian Carranza provided the assists for the Union (17-4-9, 60 points), who defeated a Red Bulls side that finished with 10 men after an ugly incident where frustrated New York defender Dru Yearwood kicked the ball into the stands and hit a home fan.
Western Conference leaders LAFC are three points behind Philadelphia but have two matches in hand in the race for the Shield, which earns the winner a berth in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League. They host Real Salt Lake on Sunday night.
Andre Blake made two saves to preserve his 13th clean sheet of the season for Philadelphia, which also moved 11 points clear of second-place Montreal atop Eastern Conference seed and a first-round bye in the MLS Cup playoffs.
The sixth home defeat of the season for the Red Bulls (13-9-8, 47 points) ended with referee Tim Ford red carding Yearwood for violent conduct. Yearwood realized his mistake immediately and before receiving the red, he tried to apologize to the fan who was struck with the ball, even wading a couple rows into the stands.
Neither side had much in chances in the opening 45 minutes, but that changed shortly after the break with Uhre giving Philadelphia the lead in the 48th after a slick transition sequence.
Gazdag found McGlynn in the center of the park from the left, and McGlynn popped the ball over a defender to find space to go forward.
Uhre bodied up his defender to race onto McGlynn’s throughball and deposit an excellent low finish inside the left post.
Gazdag made it 2-0 in the 74th following a Red Bulls turnover created by pressure from Carranza, who then played a give-and-go with Uhre to begin the break. Then he found the Hungarian international who finished off the goal in a career year.
–Field Level Media